Hot Stove Player/Coach of the Week: Rex Ryan

Hot Stove New YorkSenior Writer IJanuary 23, 2009

We now have our Super Bowl matchup—Steelers vs. Cardinals. The Cardinals proved everybody wrong (including their parents and spouses) by making it to the big game. And can’t we just get it over with and make the day after the Super Bowl a national holiday, so we don’t have to go to work tired and hung over?

We also have a new coach for the Jets. And NHL All-Star weekend is here, which we all know is a time for quiet reflection. The prize for this week’s Hot Stove Player/Coach of the Week is a brand-spanking-new president. When is Gary Bettman’s term over with, by the way?

Winner

Rex Ryan: The new coach of the Jets made a splash at his introductory press conference. He’s already proving to be the anti-Eric Mangini.

There was some speculation around the Jets the last few years that Mangini was actually a robot, programmed by Bill Belichick. All that animosity and non-handshaking was just a way to throw us off their scent.

Ryan’s father, Buddy, was a defensive coach for the 1968 Super Bowl-winning Jets when Rex was six. I wonder if Joe Namath ever had to babysit the little guy? The new coach has already vowed to visit the White House (not as a tourist) and stated, “If you take a swipe at one of ours, we’ll take a swipe at two of yours.”

How can you not love that?

Runners Up

Danilo Gallinari: The Italian Stallion is here! He actually played in the Knicks’ last three games (two victories), and put up six, nine and 10 points. And he went five-for-nine from downtown. Welcome aboard.

Brendan Shanahan: The 40-year-old returned to where it all started for him and he scored a goal in his first game back. Another old Devil also resurfaced:43-year-old Claude Lemieux signed on with the San Jose Sharks. Who’s next? Pat Verbeek?

Zach Parise: New Jersey’s lone All-Star helped the Devils get three wins and move up to first place in the standings this week by scoring three goals and assisting on two others.

Schmucks of the Week

The Islanders: Even though they won their last game, things are crumbling around the Long Island team. Rick DiPietro is out for the season after playing in only five games this year.

How does that 15-year contract look now? The team is in last place. Their building is falling apart. And now there’s rampant speculation of a possible relocation. Kansas City? Hamilton, Ontario? Say it ain’t so, Fishsticks, so it ain’t so.

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